Monday, September 26, 2011

Brad Paisley

This weekend I attended a dear friend's wedding.  This friend and I were part of a small group of six girls who I was incredibly lucky to find and mesh with during my junior and senior years of high school.  Up until then I had had some bad luck with friends.  Girls in high school aren't always the nicest (as most of you already know) and I had struggled with some pretty harsh circumstances until I came across this wonderful group of women.  Some of them were friends I had known for years and years... and I still feel blessed to call them my friends, but the rest welcomed me into their group with open arms and open hearts.  Caitlin was one of my new friends.  She was brilliant and beautiful.  An eloquent writer, she went on to become a fantastic journalist!

Anyway, Caitlin got married this weekend... and I couldn't be more thrilled for her!  Her new husband John (also a writer) spoke about their love at the reception.  I was completely blown away by his "spur of the moment" thanks to their family and friends for sharing this special day with them.  John spoke about his love for Cait in the most genuine and pure way.  The only word I can think to describe his speech was BEAUTIFUL.  I wish this intense and gratifying love for everyone on the planet.  I have never in my life seen my friend so happy.  I cannot wait to watch their marriage develop and grow into what it will most certainly become.  I heard this song on the radio as I was driving home from the wedding yesterday, and it just seemed so perfect!  I know that Caitlin and John are blissfully in love at this very moment... but I can only hope that they can look back years from now and feel even more in love than they were on their wedding day! God bless, Cait!

Love True-

"Then" - Brad Paisley

"I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
And 3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss goodnight
I hadn't told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Now you're my whole life now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it's ever been
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn't care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Now you're my whole life now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it's ever been
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can't see is how I'm ever gonna love you more
But I've said that before.

Now you're my whole life now you're my whole world
I just can't believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we're in
And I'll look at you and say and I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then..."

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jamie O'Neal

Somebody's Hero

"She's never pulled anyone from a burning building
She's never rocked Central Park to a half a million fans, screaming out her name
She's never hit a shot to win the game
She's never left her footprints on the moon
She's never made a solo hot air balloon ride, around the world,
No, she's just your everyday average girl (but)

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her baby with a skinned up knee
A little kiss is all she needs
The keeper of the cheerios
The voice that brings Snow White to life
Bedtime stories every night
And that smile lets her know
She's somebody's hero

oh oh
She didn't get a check every week like a nine-to fiver
But she's been a waiter, and a cook and a taxi driver
For twenty years, there at home, until the day her girl was grown
Giving all her love to her was her life's ambition
But now her baby's movin' on, and she'll soon be missin' her
But not today, those are tears of joy runnin' down her face

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her daughter in her wedding dress
She gave her wings to leave the nest
It hurts to let her baby go down the aisle she walks right by
Looks back into her mother's eyes
And that smile lets her know oh oh oh
She's somebody's hero

Thirty years have flown right past
Her daughters' starin' at all the photographs
Of her mother, and she wishes she could be like that
Oh, but she already is

She's somebody's hero
A hero to her mother in a rockin' chair
She runs a brush through her silver hair
The envy of the nursing home
She drops by every afternoon
Feeds her mother with a spoon
And that smile lets her know oh oh
Her mother's smile lets her know oh oh
She's somebody's hero"

"Somebody's Hero" - Jamie O'Neal

A few years ago, one of my best, and most loyal friends told me that this song always made her think of her mom.  Someone selfless, who was there for her no matter what.  I agreed instantly, reminded of the unconditional love I feel daily from my own mother.  There's something about the way a mother loves that is indescribable, and yet completely familiar.  That love is so strong and so pure and I feel so blessed to have an incredible mother who taught me how to love unconditionally as well.

The friend I mentioned is now a mother too.  And she is a great one.  I have watched her become the role model that she saw in her mom.  She is kind, compassionate, strong and unwavering.  She loves with more of her heart than most of the people on this planet.  I am so proud of the mother she has become, and incredibly thankful to call her my friend.  Happy 25th Birthday, Angel!  You are not just somebody's hero... you're mine! I love you!

Love True-

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Helen Keller

Helen Keller once wrote, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched... but are felt in the heart."

Amen, Helen Keller! - And thanks to Team True Beauty for sharing her brilliance tonight!  I was searching high and low to try to find a quote that could give weight to the way I've been feeling lately, and as if from nowhere... TTB tweets, to the rescue!

I have been feeling very fortunate lately... and very overwhelmed.  This week I started quite a few new endeavors, and it has been a very hectic 3 days!  Currently, I am working 4 different jobs, and my head has been spinning! Thank you, to the wonderful woman who created the day planner! (only a woman would know what I'm going through!) =)

Anyway, I know it has only been 3 days, but I've already found myself getting emotional in small moments of stress.  I didn't sleep the other night because I was so worried about cramming 3 jobs into that day!  What I've needed to do in those moments is remind myself of how lucky I am to have A job, let alone the 4 that I'm keeping.  Now I understand the lengths that some people go to to make end's meet.  It's crazy!!  Most of those people can't say that they are working a job they are passionate about... and I'm lucky there too.  Gymnastics has been in my life for nearly 21 years, and I feel so blessed to be able to share my love for the sport with others.

I was tired today, and in a short conversation managed to get upset and second guess myself.  Frustration is one of my biggest enemies... and sometimes it is hard for me to get past it.  Then 3 little girls walked into the gym for their first gymnastics class ever, and I was completely rejuvenated!  They were so full of excitement and wonder and I was instantly reminded of why I do what I do.  These six year-olds were able to instantly change my perspective.  I could feel their wonderment, and so much love for what I was doing.

Day 17: FEEL the beauty in life, don't just look for it.  You may find it in a place that you never expect!

Love True-

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Where Were You?"

Today marked the tenth anniversary of the day terrorists changed the world for us Americans.  Life as we knew it would never be the same.  As a fourteen year old freshman in high school, I had an idealized opinion of the great nation I was a part of.  Growing up, we were taught the history of the United States; How it was founded as the "New World" then later referred to as the "Promised Land" and the "Land of Opportunity."  All of these names given to a place that people believed in and looked to be a safe haven for families to grow and to prosper.  I remember learning about tragedies in our history like Pearl Harbor and feeling patriotic, knowing that our American people were able to come together to protect everything that our great country stood for.  And I remember September 11, 2001, realizing in one incredibly painful and eye opening moment that I was going to carry this day around with me forever.

I didn't go to school that morning, because I had a dentist appointment.  I was in the car, listening to the radio with my mom when the first plane hit.  I was in the dentist chair, with the radio in the background when the second plane hit.  I remember sitting up in the chair and saying, thinking "one plane could have been and accident... but two?  No way."  I arrived at school before the end of first period.  I remember walking to my Spanish 2 class, down the large, empty hallway feeling confused and completely alone.  Our principle came on the PA system and explained what I had already known, but no one else was aware of yet.  The deserted hallway seemed like a ghost town as every single classroom went silent.  He instructed the teachers to turn on the news, cancel classes for the day... and all we could do was watch.

Most days, I don't really think about that day.  But on a day like today all I can do is remember; the images of the people and debris, crying, and feeling very afraid.

I think that is what we are supposed to do.  Remember the day as it was, teach those who are young what it truly means to be an American... because like the teenagers who felt the Earth shake on December 7th, 1941... we now know what they felt.  The pain and the fear and the patriotism that was overflowing with rage as we tried to make sense of the acts.

I am so proud to be an American.  Words can't describe the feeling in my heart as write this.  It aches for the people who lost their lives, and the families that were destroyed; But it hopes for the future of these families and our Nation as a whole.

I hope everyone was able to take at least one moment today to say a prayer and to give thanks for our lives.  We are protected by an incredible group of men and women who sacrifice each day to keep our country safe.  Thank you to all our service men and women... from the bottom of my heart.

"Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin' against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out in pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin' what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell 
you the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty 'cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'
And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

And the greatest is love.
And the greatest is love.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that Septemb
er day?" 

Love True-

"Where Were You (When the World Stop Turning)" - Allan Jackson

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Lift Me Up"

"Impossible means nothing to me."

My life is good.  It's great in fact.  I'm not saying that to brag; I'm saying it to remind myself that I have been blessed with so many unimaginably good things.  Friends and family members who have made me feel so special at times when I have forgotten to see myself that way.  Those people who reminded me at the darkest point of my life that they were always going to be there for me, lifting me up when I couldn't lift myself.

The thing about any struggle is, while you are feeling completely alone and like no one else could possibly imagine what you are going through, there is ALWAYS someone who understands; Someone who has been there before, or helped a friend in a similar situation.  It doesn't matter what you are going through in life, don't ever believe you have to go through it alone.

There were many days when I couldn't talk to those wonderful people in my life, simply because I didn't think they would understand.  I kept it to myself and let my pain take control... and that was wrong.  My friends loved me, and I knew it, but I didn't know how to show them that inner part of me that was hurting.  I put up walls that they tried desperately to break down.  What I didn't know then, and what I eventually learned, was that I needed them to break those walls down, because I wasn't able to do it myself.

I know it probably seems like I've been writing about my struggles a lot lately, but that is only because I'm trying to help.  Anyone, and everyone who has wandered down a winding road... thinking it was theirs to travel by themselves... it's not.  There is always someone who is willing to take that journey with you.  You just have to ask them to come along.  Maybe you don't have someone that you can confide in that is close to you, but no matter what your challenge may be, there is a group or a person out there who understands you, and who supports you, and who loves you.

I've spent a lot of time being scared, and I'm done.  I'm not hiding from my past, or pretending it didn't happen.  I've overcome a lot in the past few years, and I know that I'm not done fighting... but there is no way in hell I'm going to finish this journey the way I started it.  I've got way too much support for that... and so do you.

Love True-

"Lift Me Up" - Kate Voegele

"This road is anything but simple
Twisted like a riddle I've seen high and I've seen low
So loud, the voices of all my doubts
Telling me to give up, to pack up and leave town

Even so, I had to believe
Impossible means nothing to me, yeah

So can you lift me up,
Turn the ashes into flames
‘Cause I have overcome
More than words will ever say
And I've been given hope
That there's a light on up the hall
And that a day will come
When the fight is won
And I think that day has just begun

Somewhere, every body starts there
I'm counting on a small prayer,
Lost in a nightmare
But I'm here, and suddenly it's so clear
The struggle through the long years
It taught me to outrun my fears

Everything worth having, oh
Comes with trials worth withstanding

So can you lift me up,
Turn the ashes into flames
‘Cause I have overcome
More than words will ever say
And I've been given hope
That there's a light on up the hall
And that a day will come
When the fight is won
And I think that day has just begun

Oh, lift me up
Oh, lift me up
Oh, lift me up
Lift me up
Lift me up
Oh, Lift me up

Down and out is overrated
And I need to be elevated
Looking up is not enough
No, I would rather rise above

So can you lift me up,
Turn the ashes into flames
‘Cause I have overcome
More than words will ever say
And I've been given hope
That there's a light on up the hall
And that a day will come
When the fight is won
And I think that day has just begun

Oh, oh, oh, just begun
Lift me up, yeah, oh, oh, oh, yeah, now
Oh, oh, lift me up
Lift me up
Lift me up"

Friday, September 2, 2011

Team True Beauty

Life is Beautiful... that's what I believe despite certain things that have happened in my life that could lead me to think otherwise.  Don't get me wrong, because I have led an amazing life full of love and opportunities and I am so grateful.  However, I have struggled with a pretty severe inner battle that threatened the person I could become.  I have been extremely lucky to have some pretty incredible people in my life, that weren't about to watch me self destruct.  To them, I am eternally grateful.

Recently, I wrote about a new organization I came across called, Team True Beauty.  It is a team of individuals who have created a powerful new movement to help spread the word about eating disorders and help promote a healthy body image.  Their mission is simple, to change the way we see beauty.  Beauty comes from within... and is not a reflection of your waistline, or your bra size... or your reflection (ironic, huh?)  Anyway, I was so moved by this group of people that I decided to share my story with them.  Kind of a bold move, because it's not really a time in my life that I am proud of.  However, one of my rather lofty ambitions in life is to make a difference in the world, and this is something I feel very strongly about.

So I wrote to them.  First, I said thank you... for what they are doing to help girls everywhere, and for inspiring me to share my story.  Then I poured my heart out, in the hopes that maybe one person could be helped by my story.  Little did I know, they were going to share my story with the world!

I received an email back thanking me for sharing my story.  Then, the vice-president of the organization told me that my story would be posted on their official website, as well as on one of their Celebrity supporter's websites (Daphne Zuniga, who I absolutely adore!).  I was completely floored!  Here I am, scared to share my story, but wanting to help maybe one person... and now it is there for everyone to see!  I felt so empowered, and so proud of myself in that moment.  It made me feel like all of my struggles and everything I went through were totally worth it, if my story could help someone else!

Please check out Team True Beauty on Facebook or Twitter, or just check out their website!  I am such a believer in their mission, and I am going to do whatever it takes to keep spreading their message!  Also, thanks for being such loyal followers! I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful friends who support me in this!  I love you all!

Love True-
Team True Beauty